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Abbey of Saint Savin, Saint-Savin, http://www.lumen-terra.com/img/lieux/78_saint_savin_recoupe_1.png

Abbey of Saint Savin

Martyrdom of Saint Savin and Saint Cyprian

To the east of Poitiers is the Abbey of Saint Savin, built in the 9th century on the spot where relics of Saint Savin and Saint Cyprian were found.

These two saints were brothers who fled from their native Italy to escape persecution of Christians. They were taken prisoner and martyred near the hamlet of Gartempe. The decision was taken to build an abbey here to protect the relics found by the priest of Marmoutier. With the help of the emperor Charlemagne, the abbey was fortified with ramparts. The community took in many monks fleeing the Viking invasions thus increasing the influence of the abbey as well as its fame. This led to the many donations from nobles in the area with which this masterpiece was built.

Listed in 1840 as a Historical Monument, it was listed by UNESCO in 1984 as a World Heritage site. The Abbey is particularly appreciated by visitors for its luminosity and its remarkable frescos from the 11th and 12th centuries. These frescos are extraordinary for their number as well as for their excellent state of preservation throughout the centuries.

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